How to Save Money on Bills: 5 Easy Habits to Help Lower Costs

I'm here to teach you how to save money on bills. I focus a lot on ways to save money because everything's getting pretty expensive, including gas, groceries, and laundry costs. I will show you five clever ways to save money in your household.

1. Reuse plastic bags

You know all those plastic bags you keep storing underneath your kitchen sink, in your garage, or wherever, and you say you will use them? We all know that's not happening.

Here in California, if you go to a store, they'll charge you for a bag. I always decline because it adds up at $0.10 a bag, and I'm just going to put it in my garage with my million other bags.

So I finally did the dreaded task and went through every bag. What I did is I put a few in my car so that way I can use that as a trash bag in my car. Or when I need a bag, I don't have to pay for it. I'll carry my items to my car and put them in the bag.

The bags are also the perfect size to use for my small trash can. These will make excellent trash bag liners. These are great for the bathroom trash cans, the bedroom trash cans, or even my beauty room.

Plugged-in appliance

2. Unplug your appliances

You want to unplug all the appliances when you're done using them. I know this frustrates some people, but it will save you money in the long run. I did the calculations; on average, it will save you about eighty to one hundred dollars annually.

It's not a ton of money, but savings are savings. So every time I'm done using the toaster, phone charger, microwave, or any other item that needs electricity; I unplug it.

Turning off the lights

3. Turn off the lights

You want to turn all the lights off when leaving a room. That is honestly a pet peeve of mine. When I see all these lights turned on, I know our bill is going up. Especially during peak time, your bills are going to go up.

I'm not advising you to sit in a dark house if you're in the living room or the kitchen; of course, you'll have the light on, but when you're done using the restroom, there's no need for the light to be on. Turn off the light and decrease your energy bill if you're not in your bedroom. 

Programming an AC

4. Do not use your AC or heat during peak times

I acknowledge that I'm a very extreme person when it comes to saving money, but I'm okay with it. So the fourth tip I have for you is not to use your AC or heat during peak times or in general.

I do not use my air conditioning or heat unless I'm extremely uncomfortable. If it's cold, I'm going to light some candles for some warmth. I'm going to bundle up; I'm going to have my blankets. 

If you can, I would try not to have the heat or AC on. If you have ceiling fans, turn on the ceiling fans. If you have fans, you can get something small that you can plug to use in the room that you're in. If it's cold in your area, you can use those little personal heat fans I've seen at Costco.

If you need heat or AC, I would at least try to go a few degrees above or below what you usually put to save money on your energy bill. 

5. Recycle glass, cans, and plastics

Recycle your cans, water bottles, plastics, and glass. Instead of just tossing them into the recycling bin or throwing them away, save them, separate them, and then take them to the recycling center. You're not going to get a ton of money, but as I say, savings are savings stuff. 

We recycle, and it usually takes about two to three months to accumulate a reasonable amount for the two of us. We usually get around $20 to $30.

Our families give us their recyclables, so that helps us. What we do with those earnings is we will put it towards our energy bill, or we'll put it towards a date night, or if we have a trip coming up soon, we'll use that for spending money or towards the trip. 

A fun fact about me - Ernie and I had a bit of a more extended engagement. We were engaged for about a year and a half to two years and raised $3,000 by recycling. One of my coworkers said, "Hey, I have a bunch of recyclables. It's yours."

That whole recyclable load was $70, which was a pretty good amount. Also, at work, I had little boxes in which people tossed their water bottles or soda cans. We also had recyclables from our home and my parents and my husband's siblings.

How to save money on bills

Whether directly saving on the bill itself or saving extra cash to put towards bills, savings are savings. The savings add up with these five tips, which will help you save money on bills.

What's your go-to way to save money on your bills? Share in the comments below.

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 1 comment
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jan 10, 2023

    I know this is hard to believe but my stepfather, after retirement, rode his bike around town collecting bottles. He had a regular route for poker players who would save their bottles for him. After 5 years, he had saved up enough money to buy a brand new Buick. ( about 20 years ago) We still marvel at his tenacity & ingenuity all these years later and laugh at the shock on the faces of the poker players when, in his 80’s, he had to stop traveling so far on his bike and pulled up in his Buick to tell them not to save any more bottles for him any more. True family story.